Patient No More

Section 504 protesters demonstrate with signs and placards outside San Francisco’s City Hall, April 5, 1977. Photograph by Anthony Tusler
Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights

Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights

February 9 - June 7, 2020

Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights uncovers the stories behind a moment in history when people with disabilities successfully held protests across the country to get Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 signed into law. In April 1977, more than 100 people in San Francisco, California, began a 26-day unarmed occupation of the Federal Building to insist on getting their rights. On April 30, 1977, protesters and supporters emerged from the federal building in victory, when the last and final signature was added to Section 504, making it illegal for any federally funded facilities or programs to discriminate against disabled people.

Visitors to the exhibit will explore many themes throughout the exhibit:

  • Disability as a source of creativity and innovation, not pity or tragedy.
  • Daily life inside the building and the activities of the 26 days of occupation.
  • The protests that occurred nationally.
  • How protesters influenced the media, developing close ties with the press and changing the language of their coverage.
  • Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • The controversies of 504, especially in regards to race and deafness.
  • Patient No More is presented by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, made possible with support from California Humanities, and traveled by Exhibit Envoy.